Thematic Reading List: Celebrating Christmas Traditions


Traditions, some passed down through many generations, are cherished around the Christmas season. Enjoy this collection of 12 titles that provide a glimpse into Christmas traditions with some providing a unique twist.

0735823359 Advent Elf
By: Paivi Stalder
Illustrated by: Barbara Korthues

On the first night of Advent, Arty, an elf in training, jumps out of the Advent wreath demanding that Paul get him home.
9780060580247 Christmas Cookies: bite-size holiday lessons
By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by: Jane Dyer

Vocabulary words and holiday lessons are learned by using Christmas cookies as the theme of the book.
0802851738 A Christmas Story
By: Brian Wildsmith

Rebecca, a young girl living in Nazareth, accompanies a small donkey who is searching for his mother to a stable in Bethlehem where they both witness a special event.
b3dab7f9a67788293639ae5608037a4c--christmas-books-christmas-wreaths The Christmas Wreath
By: James Hoffman

A parable about Santa’s elves that involves a hungry polar bear, the water world below the ice, and the miraculous transformation of a ragged, unfinished wreath.
9780553510638 Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
By: Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer
Illustrated by: Christine Davenier

A Jewish girl decides that she wants to celebrate Christmas, so she writes a letter to Santa.
0385328044 The First Christmas Stocking
By: Elizabeth Winthrop
Illustrated by: Bagram Ibatoulline

Grieving for her dead mother, a poor girl finds all her dreams fulfilled when, on Christmas Eve, she hangs above her hearth a stocking she has knitted.
9781561455904 Jingle Bells: how the holiday classic came to be
By: John Harris
Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson

The story of how, in Savannah, Georgia, in 1857 James Lord Pierpont sat down to write a song for his congregation’s Thanksgiving program and, homesick for the cold New England weather he remembered, came up with an enduring classic.
0060279028 Joy to the World!: Christmas stories from around the globe
By: Saviour Pirotta
Illustrated by: Sheila Moxley

A collection of five folktales related to Christmas. Includes: The Brave Little Camel (Syria), Baby in the Bread (Malta), The Gourd of Plenty (Ghana), Flowers for Jesus (Mexico), and Babushka (Russia).
0399216928 The Legend of the Poinsettia
By: Tomie dePaola

When Lucida is unable to finish her gift for the Baby Jesus in time for the Christmas procession, a miracle enables her to offer the beautiful flower we now call the poinsettia.
1467721514 The Nutcracker Comes to America: how three ballet-loving brothers created a holiday tradition
By: Chris Barton
Illustrated by: Cathy Gendron

The story of the Christensen brothers, pioneers of ballet’s early days in America, and how The Nutcracker Ballet became a holiday tradition in America.
9781580892384 O Christmas Tree: its history and holiday traditions
By: Jacqueline Farmer
Illustrated by: Joanne Friar

A glimpse of the history of Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, and the challenges facing tree farmers.
9780618841981 A Piñata in a Pine Tree: a Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Magaly Morales

In this adaptation of the folk song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” friends exchange such gifts as a piñata and “cuatro luminarias.” Includes pronunciation and glossary of Spanish words. Also includes a description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries.


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